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iahphx

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  1. I'm impressed -- and a bit surprised -- that ticket sales apparently went so well here. From an economic standpoint, they are selling tickets at the worst possible time. If there's anything discretionary, it's buying overpriced (IMHO) Olympic tickets. Of course, when it comes to Olympic tickets, sales are not transparent and often not what they appear to be. Like all those "sold out" venues in Beijing that were only 25% full. So it's hard to REALLY know what demand was like. I still think "last minute" attendees will likely do fine because people will want to unload their high priced tickets and (logic would say) corporate sponsors will be cutting back on their actual comp lists. We'll see.
  2. Unless the economy dramatically improves, there will be all the hotel rooms, tickets and whatever else you need at deeply discounted prices come event time. Nobody NEEDS to buy several hundred dollar tickets, and corporations will downsize their attendance to reflect the new fiscal reality. Personally, unless you MUST go, I'd hold off here and wait for the discounting.
  3. I am sorry, but you are just dead wrong about this. The insane prices scare "everyone" away and there is always someplace to stay. It is simply not a problem. I always feel sorry for the suckers who lock themselves into the sky-high prices. Stay flexible and it works itself out. The same is likely on tickets, but here luck plays more of a role. You simply have to "bump into" the right people. In Beijing, I had people give me, for free, swimming tickets that were worth several hundred dollars "on the street." But there is no way I know to predict such opportunities. Lodging, however, is much simpler to play. Just wait, until a few weeks before the Games to look. Worse comes to worse, the Olympic committee will find you a homestay. Interestingly, in Beijing, they launched such a program toward the end, but my understanding is that almost no foreigners availed themselves of the program.
  4. Don't worry about finding a place to stay. It ALWAYS works out. Hotels always charge the moon, the official committee always books up the hotels and then, magically, there are places to stay at affordable prices. In Beijing, if you didn't want to use frequent hotel stay points (which I got by signing up for free credit cards), you could get published rooms at decent places like the Holiday Inn Express a few weeks before the Games for less than $130. In Albertville, I used the official "stay with a family" to pay a very nice lady about US$60 for my wife and I to stay at her place. We could see the flame from our bedroom! Bottomline is you can't worry about accomodations. It WILL work out. Your problem is tickets. If you want to buy them early, which I always recommend, they will cost you a boatload of money here.
  5. Well, your list actually matches my memory (I didn't attend Athens, but I remember Atlanta). There was no circumstance where I was unable to find tickets for under $100 to any event (except Opening & Closing ceremonies, which have been expensive for a long time -- FWIW, I had many people willing to sell me those tickets at face value in Atlanta). FWIW, going to the Olympics isn't like the Super Bowl in that you need to buy LOTS of tickets -- not just one or two. In Beijing, I attended 12 events. I brought my family with me. That would pretty much bankrupt us in Vancouver. I did check the official prices vs. CoSport. As I suspected, CoSport's fees are about 25% higher (due to fees and currency changes). It would definitely be a good idea to buy tickets in Canada if you could get them there.
  6. It sounds like some of the recent Winter Games have been expensive. I remember Alberville and we went repeatedly to speed skating for under US$15. The woman's freestyle finals cost us something like $50 (it's now north of $500, right?). I know I never paid $100 for anything, and most tickets were about $20 to $30. Even Atlanta wasn't that expensive. I remember the most expensive tickets being Athletics and they were less than $80. The idea that Olympic tickets should be several hundred each is absurd. Maybe the Opening and Closing ceremonies, but for the sporting events? It's highway robbery. Beijing wasn't all that great for the fans -- they preferred half empty stadiums to ticket allocation and there wasn't much "atmosphere" around the venues -- but it was cheap. Tickets were about 20 bucks on average -- if you could get them. The whole thing seems to be run for the sponsors, which is a shame.
  7. The ticket prices -- especially those offered through CoSport -- are truly obscene. Most events will cost several hundred dollars to attend -- perhaps almost 10 times what comparable tickets cost in Beijing. Obviously, Canada is a much more expensive country than China, but there seems to be a conscious decision on the part of organizers to really jack up the price for the "premier events" (like hockey finals costing almost $700). Bad news for scalpers, but also bad news for the "little guy" who wants to enter and hopefully win some decent tickets for himself. I also have the feeling that CoSport priced the tickets at the peak value of the Canadian dollar (it's recently plunged 25% against the US dollar) and folks able to buy in Canada will save big money (between the exchange rate and CoSport's fees). I was planning on going (I went to Beijing, and have been to several Olympics), but it's just not worth it to me to attend $500 sporting events.
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